Christopher Allan Webber

Christopher Allan Webber at

Gosh, more good quotes

Carefully deferred was the decision regarding whether () was a symbol. Even though this decision was left until nearly the end of the decision process--causing people to emotionally accept Common Lisp and attach part of their egos to it--when the discussion came up, it was divisive. Symbolics threatened to withdraw from the group unless their position was accepted, and so it was. The salient paragraph from their message is as follows:

We have had some internal discussions about the T and NIL issues. If we were designing a completely new language, we would certainly rethink these, as well as the many other warts (or beauty marks) in Lisp. (We might not necessarily change them, but we would certainly rethink them.) However, the advantages to be gained by changing T and NIL now are quite small compared to the costs of conversion.

The only resolution to these issues that Symbolics can accept is to retain the status quo.

This shows that there are some issues, apparently trivial, that can have a profound influence on people.

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